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Rowdies strengthen midfield with the signing of Danish player Martin Vanguard

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The Tampa Bay Rowdies have strengthened their midfield with the signing of Danish player Martin Vingaard through the end of the season.

The midfield has been under constant tinkering by the Rowdies over the past two seasons. The team brought in highly regarded Joe Cole earlier this year, and last year gave Freddie Adu a tryout.

Vangaard, 31, is a traditional box-to-box midfielder, the kind that you love to watch play because he seems to be all over the field,” Rowdies Head Coach Stuart Campbell said. “He’s quite tall and is an imposing presence for opposition in the center of the park.”

Vingaard has played his entire career thus far in his native country. He debuted with lower-division Boldklubben 1913 in 2003 and made the step up to the Danish SuperLiga in 2005 with Esbjerg fB. He joined Denmark’s biggest club, FC Copenhagen in 2009 and made 97 appearances for the Danish giants before departing for FC Nordsjaelland in 2013.

While with Copenhagen, a club with regular appearances in the group stage of the UEFA Champions League, Vingaard scored 16 goals, including three in Europe’s greatest club competition. Vingaard played in either the Champions League or Europa League every season between 2008 and 2014.

“We’re delighted to add another player with senior national team experience to our group,” Campbell said. “He’s represented his national team and he’s represented the biggest club in his country in the Champions League and scored a few goals doing it. He’s another creative player we can use that will help out every player around him.”

The Rowdies are home Saturday night against the New York Cosmos.

Gary Shelton is one of the most recognized and honored sportswriters in the history of the state. He has won the APSE's national columnist of the year twice and finished in the top 10 eight times. He was named the Florida Sportswriter of the Year six times. Gary joined SaintPetersBlog in the spring, helping to bring a sports presence to the website. Over his time in sports writing, Gary has covered 29 Super Bowls, 10 Olympics, Final Fours, Masters, Wimbledons and college national championships. He was there when the Bucs won a Super Bowl, when the Lightning won a Stanley Cup and when the Rays went to a World Series. He has seen Florida, FSU and Miami all win national championships, and he covered Bear Bryant, Bobby Bowden and Don Shula along the way. He and his wife Janet have four children: Eric, Kevin, K.C. and Tori. To contact, visit garysheltonsports@gmail.com.

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